Little People Fossils

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 6th, 2010


Toronto Globe & Mail

February 12, 1935

Race of Lilliputians Revealed by Fossils

Toronto Expert Doubts Story of 15-Inch Man and 18-Inch Cow

 (Associated Press Cable.)

 Vadnagar, Baroda, India, Feb. 20.

Discovery of fossil remains, apparently those of a human being but fifteen inches tall, and a diminutive cow only three inches taller, led to the belief today that perhaps a race of pygmies once dwelt in India. Should the find be authenticated, it was considered likely the discovery would have some effect on the current theories regarding the early dwelling place of the human race. 

The remains excavated include a walking stick ten inches long. Investigators expressed the opinion that a new field had been opened for study of a long-extinct race of men much smaller than the Obongo, Akka and Batwa tribes of pygmies in Central Africa, who measure between four and five feet. 

Sir Grafton Elliot Smith, famous anthropologist, said in London that, if the reports were true, the pygmies would be the smallest race of people ever known. He declared, however, that a long check would be necessary, saying, “I do not recall ever hearing of a man as tiny as this.  The smallest people I know of are the Akkas of Central Africa, who still exist.

“Pygmy cows, however, are not uncommon.  I have seen some preserved at Trinity College, Dublin, which are bigger.  They were freak cows born a long time ago.  Another reason why the reports from India must be checked is that the find may be a dwarf.”

“Unless they are the bones of infants, it is entirely impossible,” was the opinion of T. F. McIllwraith, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, regarding the reported find of fossil remains of human beings fifteen inches tall, in India. “Either the remains are not human, or the report has been grossly exaggerated,” he said.  “There are races of pygmies in various parts of the world, ranging in height from 4 feet, 4 inches to 4 feet 6 inches, but these are the smallest races we have discovered thus far.”

Sometimes, Professor McIllwraith explained, the height of early human remains was wrongly estimated because of the fact that during thousands of years in the ground the skull and the bones of the feet shifted in such a way that the space between them became larger or smaller than it was originally.


[Courtesy of W. Ritchie Benedict and Jerome Clark.]

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

5 Responses to “Little People Fossils”

  1. loopstheloop responds:

    I take it nothing more is known of these fossils? Was this a hoax or an exaggeration of real finds?

  2. asper responds:

    There was also a fifteen inch tall adult male found in a cave in Caspar, WY in 1932 which was photographed and X rayed.

    This was written about in a Reader’s Digest Asso. publication “Mysteries of the Unexplained” 1982

  3. Paul78 responds:

    I find it funny he says “They were freak cows born a long time ago”, considering technically all cows are pygmies to their Aurochs ancestor.

  4. Dan Gannon responds:

    Indeed, this reminds me of the Pedro Mountain Mummy, and even of He Pingping, who still lives, and also various other extremely tiny people, often called “primordial dwarfs,” who have lived in historical times.

    Could it be that the smallest among us, are atavistic, expressing traits that our ancestors once had, perhaps for many millions of years? The assumption that our ancestors were ever knuckle-walkers has already been dispelled (see the bipedal Ardipithecus ramidus, the Laetoli footprints, and the very different physiology underlying the knuckle-walking of chimpanzees and gorillas, which points to knuckle-walking having evolved twice.)

    Numerous cultures, from around the world, have long told of “little people,” and some spoke of of larger humankind having descended from small bipeds. Now, with the knuckle-walking, chimp-like, assumptions out of the way, it looks like the evidence is actually pointing in the direction, of vindicating these ancient legends.

    There are other things this reminds me of, including the Mayan “Alux” statues, and the “Bes” statue (and written accounts) at Hathor’s Temple, Dendara Complex, Egypt. Also the origins of the word, “pygmy”: Greek writings of little people, approximately as tall as a larger human’s forearm is, long. (Their name in Greek was Pygmaioi, from pygmê, the length of the forearm.) Not the same thing as the roughly 4-foot-tall people we have, more recently, taken to calling “pygmies.”

    The more one digs into the evidence, in this area, the more intriguing and compelling it becomes.

  5. Dan Gannon responds:

    I must offer my deepest apologies. It turns out that He Pingping, very sadly, has recently passed on. I learned of this tragic news by reading this Wikipedia entry.

    Relevant excerpt: “He was admitted to a hospital on 3 March 2010 in Rome, Italy after complaining of chest pains. He had been filming The Record Show.[12] He died on the 13 March 2010 of heart complications.[13] The Guinness World Records editor-in-chief, Craig Glenday, said that he was ‘an inspiration to anyone considered different or unusual’.[12]”

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